Two workers in a butcher shop—one of them a young worker—were trying to clear an obstruction while cleaning a large meat grinder. When the ON switch was inadvertently knocked, the machine turned on. As a result, the young worker suffered the partial amputation of an arm and several fingers on the other hand.


The meat grinder here has been de-energized in preparation for maintenance. The plug has been disconnected. As an additional safeguard, the energy-isolating device on the wall to the right of the machine has also been locked out. The machine also has clear warning signs and a switch guard to prevent inadvertent start-up. Just below the start-up switch is also an emergency stop.

Safe work practices:

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WorkSafeBC has a wide range of health and safety information. For assistance and information on workplace health and safety, call toll-free within BC 1-888-621-SAFE (7233) or visit our web site at

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